Falls – and the even more prevalent “fear of falling.” This fear is not imaginary, but justified, with one in four older adults falling each year.
After my young daughter had double hip surgery, she had been prescribed about 8 medications—from laxatives to vitamins to several pain management options. Pages of complex instructions from the discharge nurse detailed my new medication management responsibilities. Administer this liquid medicine one twice a day, every 12 hours. Take this pill once daily, but only give half a pill; take with food.
Your phone rings. There is a health emergency. Your loved one is being rushed to the hospital. You drop whatever you are doing and go straight to the Emergency Room. Of course, you are in the ER for hours. And then there is the wait for a room and the long process of being admitted. While you are waiting, exhausted and tense, you wonder if the EMT’s locked the front door when they left. Did they leave the lights on? Is the A/C blasting away with no one home? You can’t leave the hospital and there is no one else you can ask to take care of this – it’s the middle of the night!
While much of the focus in family caregiving is on the actual tasks being coordinated—from medical appointments to activities of daily living (ADLs)—one of the most important roles of an effective caregiver is that of communicator in chief.
Has your loved one gotten up this morning? Have there been more or less frequent trips to the restroom? Was the front door left open? The ability for caregivers to monitor daily activities provides a level of support to individuals choosing to stay at home.
At the pharmacy. At the doctor’s office. At the family meeting. As a caregiver, there will never be a shortage of times when having your loved one’s health records – health history, medications and current treatment plan, doctor/pharmacy contact information - is crucial. Using an app on your smart device puts that information at your fingertips in an instant.
There are a number of ways medication mishaps can happen. Using tools, like devices and apps can help medicine management easier, for both you and your loved one. We’ve broken down these valuable resources in to two sections: stand-alone devices and apps for your smart device. We have highlighted the main features of these products, but encourage you to do additional research on figure out which product best fits your needs.
Knowing your loved one is safe is a priority. Whether they are at home or out and about, being able to access help immediately when an emergency arises is crucial. These devices can be key in granting you peace of mind while allowing your loved one to stay at home.
Like many caregivers, I work fulltime, have my own home and family to care for and then, when I go to my father's house, I get to do all the household chores there, too. Caregivers sometimes have to keep their own home clean and fresh - and then repeat the same chores when they go to check in on those they are caring for.
Being with your loved one 24 hours a day, 7 days a week isn’t possible. The ability to keep tabs on your loved one’s daily activities not only provides peace of mind when you’re not there but is crucial in detecting problems (falls, changes in daily activities) in a timely manner.